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Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Phil Woolas, on 25 June (Official Report, House of Commons, 303W), what were the practical and political implications of their abstention in June from the vote on European Union proposals relating to hazard cut-off criteria on plant protection products. [HL5604]

The United Kingdom was one of four member states to abstain from voting on the proposal (the others were Hungary, Ireland and Romania), which was therefore approved by a qualified majority. The text was subsequently adopted by the Council as its common position and transmitted to the European Parliament for the second reading in September. The second reading process is expected to be completed by the end of this year or early in 2009.